England play their first games since losing the World Cup quarter final in Qatar, as Gareth Southgate’s side take on Italy and Ukraine in the first batch of qualifiers for Euro 2024
Ivan Toney has been called up for England’s Euro qualifiers – even though he is facing a lengthy FA ban.
England boss Gareth Southgate picked the in-form striker who has scored 17 goals in all competitions this season.
Southgate has decided to include Toney in the 25 man squad for the qualifiers with Italy and Ukraine even though the Brentford star is awaiting the outcome of 232 alleged breaches of the Football Association’s betting rules which could lead to a lengthy suspension.
But Southgate has taken the view of not prejudging the outcome and, despite overlooking Toney for the World Cup, he has picked him this time. It is Toney’s second call-up but he has yet to win a cap and this is a big show of faith from Southgate who watched him at Everton last weekend.
Manchester City defender Kyle Walker, 32, is also in the squad despite facing a police probe after videos emerged online of him allegedly exposing himself in a bar ten days ago.
But the big omissions are Raheem Sterling, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Conor Coady while, as expected, Arsenal ’s Ben White is not included. Chelsea forward Sterling is understood to be for match fitness reasons and Southgate would have wanted to pick him.
Everton defender Coady has endured a difficult season at Goodison Park and has lost his place in recent weeks. Crystal Palace’s Marc Guehi replaces him.
Liverpool full back Alexander-Arnold has struggled for form this season and has not been picked despite playing in the Champions League at Real Madrid on Wednesday night.
James Maddison is included while Jordan Henderson also gets the nod despite missing the Madrid trip. Kalvin Phillips is also in despite starting just two games for Manchester City.
Full England Squad:
Goalkeepers: Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope, Aaron Ramsdale.
Defenders: Ben Chilwell, Eric Dier, Marc Guehi, Reece James, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker.
Midfielders: Jude Bellingham, Conor Gallagher, Jordan Henderson, James Maddison, Mason Mount, Kalvin Phillips, Declan Rice.
Forwards: Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka, Ivan Toney.
Source: The Mirror – UK
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